Curb Appeal, Home Improvement

How to Choose the Best Plants for Low-Maintenance Curb Appeal

Do you want to give your home some extra style points without spending every day digging in the dirt? These low-maintenance plants will get the job done.

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Pick the Right Plants for Your Home

Maybe you’re looking for ways to attract homebuyers, or perhaps you just want to give your home a fresh new look. Either way, plants can really give your home that extra bit of curb appeal that you need to separate your home from the pack, or to make it stand out in your neighborhood.

So what exactly is curb appeal? It’s that ineffable yet undeniable “it-factor” that makes passing dog walkers stop and stare, and house hunters bookmark your home on real estate sites, holding out hope that you just might, one day, decide to put it on the market.


But there are so many options at your local home and garden store. How can you narrow it down and find the best companion plants for your home?

Choose Plants That Will Grow With You

One of the smartest moves you can make is to research the growing patterns of any plant, tree, or shrub you’re considering planting. For foundation plants, you’re better off going with slow-growing ones such as boxwood, cape plumbago, or dwarf fothergilla. They’re pretty carefree, and they make an excellent frame for the work of art that is your home.

If you buy a plant that grows too quickly, your home could end up looking like a little kid wearing daddy’s shoes.

Perennials: The Gifts That Keep on Giving

If you’re a consummate gardener, then you might enjoy the challenge of planning a new garden display every year. But for those who want a low maintenance option (or aren’t sure their home will sell anytime soon) perennials are probably a better bet.

Plant them once, and they’ll be back year after year, providing you with visual flair, and in some cases, fresh-cut flowers, too. For extra visual panache, choose blooming varieties that match or complement your home’s exterior or accent color. Tulips are a perennial favorite (couldn’t resist), but you’re free to choose whatever inspires you, whether it be blue lobelia, dwarf zinnia, lavender, veronica, rosemary… the list goes on and on. Don’t go too wild though; you’ll want to stick to a unified color palette to achieve the best results.

Lawns: Yes or No?

There is no denying that a spacious, well-kept lawn is a treat for bare feet, but when it comes down to it, lawns can be a bit of a pain to maintain. There’s always some unwelcome weed threatening to take over your fussy monoculture, and lawns require an awful lot of water and mowing to keep them looking good.


Is it time to minimize your lawn? Well, that’s up to you. We’d recommend replacing grass beneath your trees with ground cover that does well in the shade. Surround the ground cover planting with a stylish border to keep it in check. Ferns, violets, and hostas are all ideal for border planting that has some shade. If you do replace your lawn everywhere, you’ll reduce your mowing time and give your home a whole new verve.

It’s All About Composition

Great curb appeal doesn’t happen by chance. Plenty of planning goes into making a home look its best. Just haphazardly placing new plants wherever is a bit like dressing in the dark; there’s an outside chance that it will work out well, but generally speaking, it’s not such a good move.

Take a picture of your home from each side. If you’re handy with photo editing software, you can play around with different options digitally before breaking out your gardening gloves. If not, you can always print the picture and hand-draw some flowers here and there. The important thing is to get a clear picture of the finished product so you can then take the steps to make it happen.

Lookin’ Good!

“Hey there, your house looks amazing! Is it for sale?” That’s what passersby will say once you have your home’s curb appeal sorted out. And because you’ve chosen low-maintenance plants, the fact that it takes very little work to maintain can be your secret.

+ is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country. Happy house hunting!

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Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.

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